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Green Mountain Boys

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Daniella Peña-Pavao
  • 33rd Fighter Wing

The 33rd Fighter Wing is no stranger to Total Force Integration. The 158th Fighter Wing from the Vermont Air National Guard is working in conjunction with the 33rd FW to train their pilots and maintainers with the F-35A Lightning II.


In 2013, the Secretary of the Air Force Record of Decision (ROD) selected the VTANG to receive the F-35A. The 158th FW began integrating their members into active duty service in 2016 to train with the new aircraft.


“The goal of sending VTANG personnel on this Extended Active Duty tour is to create a cadre that has a high-level of F-35A experience in the lead up to the VTANG receiving their first F-35As in September of 2019,” said Lt. Col. Nate Graber, 158th Fighter Wing Public Information Officer director. “The secondary goal would be to infuse experienced maintainers and pilots from the VTANG into the Active Duty USAF ranks at Eglin and beyond, so that the Total Force gets a win-win scenario.”


The Green Mountain Boys will return to the VTANG with an in depth knowledge of the advanced weapons system as the first F-35A arrives. When they leave, they will be able to share their knowledge with other Airmen to continue the mission.


“There will not be any stop gap, any civilian assistance or extra active duty members there to pick up the slack,” said Tech. Sgt.  Jonathon DuPont, 58th Aircraft Maintenance Unit flight line expediter. “We want our Green Mountain Boys to be able to catch their first jets and rock and roll.”


Not only has the VTANG benefitted from this program but the 33rd FW has as well.


“This is a prime example of total force integration,” said DuPont. “We can both learn from each other and move towards an overall goal effectively.”